Friday 30 June 2017

Anime REVIEW: Little Witch Academia (Series)

Little Witch Academia
Little Witch Academia’s first 13 episodes are currently available via Netflix. The remaining 12 episodes are set to follow later this year.

The rise of Little Witch Academia has been one of anime’s great success stories from the past few years. Beginning as a short film produced by the then-new studio Trigger for the 2013 Young Animator Training Project for Anime Mirai, its popularity led to sequel film The Enchanted Parade – where a Kickstarter to extend its running time was funded in a mere six hours. Both OVAs have since been added to Netflix worldwide, and arguably stand as one of the site’s flagship anime offerings. Now four years since its debut Little Witch Academia has returned once again, this time as a full 25-episode television series. Creator Yoh Yoshinari returns once again as director, joining forces once again with Enchanted Parade writer Michiru Shimada.

Wednesday 28 June 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Alien Mefilas

Release Date: May 2017
RRP: 6480 yen

Ultraman has enjoyed a successful range of retail S.H. Figuarts releases so far, but with the line now also moving onto Ultraseven it was inevitable some would eventually be Tamashii web exclusives. The previously released Alien Baltan 3-pack was an obvious choice from the very beginning, but now the line moves into new moulds and monsters with S.H. Figuarts Alien Mefilas. Making his first appearance in episode 33 of the series (The Forbidden Words) and recently appearing in Ultraman Orb as the Planet Invasion Union leader Don Nostra, Mefilas is the fourth alien/kaiju to be released in the Ultra Series Figuarts range.

Monday 26 June 2017

Reviews in Time & Space: Doctor Who 10x11 - World Enough and Time

Doctor Who 10x11 - World Enough and Time

It's been a fun ten weeks, but now the end is finally approaching. It's time to begin bidding farewell to Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor, Michelle Gomez as Missy, Steven Moffat as showrunner and potentially Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts too. As Doctor Who series 10 draws to a close we begin the two-part finale with World Enough and Time - written by Moffat and directed by Rachel Talalay, who previously directed the two-part finales for both series eight and nine. As well as bringing back the original Mondasian Cybermen to screens, World Enough and Time also features the much-publicised return of John Simm as the Master, making this the first multi-Master story put to screen.

Thursday 22 June 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Transformers Legends LG-42 Godbomber

Release Date: May 2017
RRP: 7560 yen

When TakaraTomy revealed that their version of Titans Return Powermaster Optimus Prime would be heavily remoulded to match the original toy and released as Super Ginrai, Transformers fans immediately speculated that a Godbomber wouldn’t be too far behind. They were of course correct, and now the originally Japanese-exclusive Super God Masterforce character (who was eventually released in the West as “Apex Bomber”) has returned with full compatibility with Super Ginrai to form God Ginrai. Transformers Legends LG-42 Godbomber is current only available through the Legends line, with an American release still unconfirmed even though the Super Ginrai mould is being brought over as “Magnus Prime”.

Tuesday 20 June 2017

Anime REVIEW: Attack on Titan Season 2

Attack on Titan Season 2
Attack on Titan season 2 is available in streaming form via Crunchyroll

Back in 2013 you couldn’t get away from Attack on Titan. Studio Wit’s adaptation of Hajime Isayama’s manga series about humanity fighting back the onslaught of grotesque giants seemed to be one of those shows that surpassed the popularity of your average anime series. But without a second season in clear sight even two live action films, two compilation films and a comedy spin-off couldn’t stop the franchise from falling into a state of limbo. However four years later and the series is finally back, as Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Levi and the rest of the Survey Corps return for a further 12 episodes of Titan-slaying action.

(This review contains spoilers regarding character identities. You have been warned!)

Sunday 18 June 2017

Reviews in Time & Space: Doctor Who 10x10 - The Eaters of Light

Doctor Who 10x10 - The Eaters of Light

Doctor Who has never been one to shy away from a real-life mystery. After all, anyone who's seen The Chase will know that the crew of the Mary Celeste disappeared after the Daleks landed on it while chasing the Doctor through time and space. So this week it's tackling the real fate of the Ninth Roman Legion, which mysteriously disappeared and is thought to have been defeated by Celtic tribes in the north of Britain. The Eaters of Light is also a particularly notable episode because of it's writer Rona Munro - the first person to write for both the modern and classic iterations of the show, having previously written the show's "final" episode Survival in 1986.

Wednesday 14 June 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Gavan Type-G Space Squad Ver.

Release Date: May 2017
RRP: 6480 yen

Hindsight can be a wonderful thing, but on occasion I’ve looked back at some of my older reviews and been too generous in the past. The original S.H. Figuarts Gavan was definitely one of those times, as I originally failed to truly highlight the off proportions and incredibly flimsy wrist joints which broke shortly after publishing the review. However four years later it seems Tamashii Nations also felt they could do the original Space Sheriff better too, releasing a brand new S.H. Figuarts Gavan Type-G ahead of the release of the Gavan/Dekaranger crossover movie Space Squad. This Gavan will also be followed up later this month with an updated version of the original, coming as part of a web exclusive 2-pack with the Saibarian. Like all Metal Heroes Figuarts thus far, both are Tamashii web exclusive releases.

Monday 12 June 2017

Reviews in Time & Space: Doctor Who 10x09 - Empress of Mars

Doctor Who 10x09 - Empress of Mars

The most highly anticipated Doctor Who episodes are usually the ones that feature the return of classic monsters, so it shouldn’t be any surprise to hear that Empress of Mars was particularly high up on series 10’s most hotly tipped offerings. After making their long-awaited modern debut in 2013’s Cold War, Mark Gatiss brings the Ice Warriors back on their home soil as well as making a brand new addition to the Martian hierarchy.

Friday 9 June 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Uchu Sentai Kyuranger Minipla RyuTeiOh

Release Date: May 2017 
RRP: 1890 yen (1 complete figure, 5 boxes), 3780 yen (Full case: 2 complete figures, 10 boxes) 

Uchu Sentai Kyuranger may have started as a series that teased nine legendary heroes taking back the galaxy, but it only took the series a mere nine episodes to throw that number aside. With the introduction of Ryu Commander and then Koguma SkyBlue the follow episode, Kyuranger now boasts an impressive total of eleven rangers with more still to come in the future. But in the meantime new rangers means new mecha, with the third wave of Bandai’s candy toy minipla model kits introducing RyuTeiOh into the mix. This set contains a total of five different boxes – three for the Ryu Voyager and then one each for the Koguma and Sasori Voyagers.

Wednesday 7 June 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Alien Metron

Release Date: April 2017
RRP: 5940 yen

While the release of the Ultra heroes themselves may be coming at a slow and steady pace, the Ultraman S.H. Figuarts line has been filling out rather nicely with range of aliens and kaiju on offer. The original series has already seen Baltan and Zetton released with Mefilas and Gomora still to follow, and now 2017 continues its venture in Ultraseven with S.H. Figuarts Alien Metron. The second retail release from the series, Metron’s initial announcement was timed well with the race’s appearance in Ultraman Orb and now its release comes just ahead of Kaiju Club – the Ultraseven “making of” drama series where Metron is already looking to play a regular part.

Monday 5 June 2017

Reviews in Time & Space: Doctor Who 10x08 - The Lie of the Land

Doctor Who 10x08 - The Lie of the Land

With Bill having bargained with the Monks for the Doctor's sight at the end of The Pyramid at the End of the World, Earth is now theirs for the taking as the Monks Trilogy reaches its thrilling conclusion in The Lie of the Land. This part of the story takes on a new writer yet again, having been penned by Toby Whithouse in his first (and only) series ten episode. He's certainly no stranger to Doctor Who though, with the likes of School Reunion, The Vampires of Venice, The God Complex, A Town Called Mercy and Under the Lake/Before the Flood among his writing credits.

Thursday 1 June 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Super Mini-Pla Daizyujin

Release Date: March 2017 
RRP: 4968 yen 

Not content in being confined to the realms of classic mecha anime, Bandai’s Super Mini-Pla line has now branched into the world of tokusatsu and Super Sentai with Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger’s Daizyujin – perhaps better known around the world as the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Megazord. Conveniently timed alongside the release of Tamashii NationsSoul of Chogokin version, this candy toy model kit offers fans a smaller, cheaper alternative that is both still fully transformable and articulated. As with previous Super Mini-Pla releases, one case holds one whole figure so that collectors can pick up the whole with ease and without ending up with any duplicates on their hands.